Sex Dwarf: Tues., Dec. 28, 10pm. $5. Monthly. Fluid, 613 S. Fourth St. 215.629.3686. www.fluidnightclub.com
In an electroclash-happy town, throwing a regular '80s party without some kind of accompanying gimmick is almost unheard of. But thanks to the industrious spirit of Marilyn Thomas, the fiercest decade is back--without pretension--in Philly.
Along with partner Robert Drake, the 30-year-old Thomas hosts Fluid's monthly New Wave and pop getdown Sex Dwarf. Drake started the party more than a year ago, and Thomas (aka Pussy Galore) joined the lineup shortly afterward. "I don't think I've ever left the '80s as far as music is concerned. I have such a passion for it that it just seemed like a natural thing for me to do," she says.
Featuring tracks from Rick James, Gary Neuman, Pet Shop Boys and of course Duran Duran, Sex Dwarf has become a staple for both those who spent their teenage years taking in these artists the first time around and late-blooming connoisseurs.
Overarching themes pop up too, such as this month's 1984-'85-themed pre-New Year's bash. But for Thomas, who grew up in the Pottstown area, it's the dedicated spirit of the crowd that fuels her most.
"I may have heard 'Hungry Like the Wolf' a thousand times, but I still never get sick of it," she says. "And it doesn't matter what I think. My job is to be in that booth, to make people happy and make them dance. That's what's important to me."
Such a party-loving DJ would seem to have plenty of experience out, right? Not necessarily. Thomas started playing in clubs only after years of prompting from friends. She got her start as a college radio DJ in Reading, then became an underground party promoter, and finally got her live debut after moving to Philly in 2002.
In addition to Sex Dwarf, Thomas also hosts the synthesizer explosive gig Electro-Current with Dave Ghoul. Even with her New Wave-heavy schedule, Thomas begs off being pigeonholed by noting the occasional punk or indie track keeps her gigs interesting.
"I seem to have fallen into that niche of being an '80s New Wave DJ. I'm not complaining, because I love it. I just also happen to enjoy electronic music across the board," she says. "I try not to limit myself."
MARILYN THOMAS' HOT LIST
The return of Duran Duran
VHS or Beta
Land of the Lost on WXPN
Khyber Christmas Party
Sat., Dec. 25, 9pm. Free. Khyber, 56 S. Second St. 215.238.5888. www.thekhyber.com
You probably heard the news that Christmas is the deadliest day of the year for Americans. Researchers speculate it's because people feel too busy or festive to go to the hospital if they're feeling sick. Then again, it could be due to the inherent hazards of Christmas--trees bursting into flames, fatal goose-carving accidents, being literally buried alive under a mountain of presents. So instead of spending the night in the certain death trap that is your parents' home, head over to the Khyber for its annual Christmas party. Owner Stephen Simons and Khyber booker Stacie George will be on the decks, spinning everything from '80s music and Spacemen 3 to Power 99-style hip-hop. It'll feel good to dance off all that eggnog--and you might just end up with a cutie in a Santa hat sleeping next to you in your childhood bed. 'Tis the season! (Doree Shafrir)
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